This AEI/GEC Optispec (circa 1969, see more information here) is in catenary suspended format along a street in my hometown. Sadly this is one of two streets left with suspended street lighting remaining, and this stretch is due for upgrading to pole mounted street lighting later this year or early next year. What I love most about this particular suspended Optispec is that one end of its catenary wire is being supported on the exterior façade/brickwork of this building's wall! This would have been done when this large building was a brewery in its heyday dating back to the late 1800's. Sadly the brewery is long gone and from the 1960's stood abandoned for a couple of decades until about 20 years ago when a printing company moved in and made use of all the space! I can't help but wonder if this Optispec has seen the ghost that is said to be living in this building - imagine that on a cold, dark night walking along this street lined with camphor laurel trees and Mercury Vapour lighting!
The catenary suspended street lighting along this stretch of road is a prime example of why this format of street lighting was so effective and practical. Both sides of the street are lined with 100 year old Camphor Laurel trees. In recent years a couple of the Camphor Laurel trees have been removed from in front of this building as it was beginning to get hidden! Other than that though this kilometre long stretch of roadway is dotted with these suspended Optispecs. Unfortunately a few have already been replaced with pole mounted lanterns as the Optispecs have failed, sadly reporting these to the Power Co for having a only a burnt out lamp now incurs full removal and replacement of the catenary suspension set up. There are several along here that have burnt out but I won't be reporting them! Replacing these with pole mounted variants is very ineffective in a road situation like this. 've been told by some Power Co crews that the reason catenary suspended street lighting is being replaced is due to new Workplace Health and Safety regulations, where it is deemed too dangerous for a cherry picker to park in the middle of the roadway for about five minutes - even with Police escorts!